Our own Lovely Rita (Bert) Heffron made her peaceful journey home to be with her Lord on Monday, August 30, 2021.
Throughout her life Bert dedicated herself to caring for others. From her long career as a compassionate and caring nurse to years spent nurturing her beloved Grandchildren Alex, Spencer, Loisa, Tommy, Madison and Anna.
Bert enjoyed her youth on the family farm in Grattan Township, Michigan along with her parents and siblings. She attended Ashley School in Grattan Township, Michigan. In fact, if she had your ear today, she’d tell you she walked to school every day and it was “uphill both ways.” She graduated at the top of her class from St. Patrick High School in Parnell in 1952. Most recently Bert resided at Heather Hills in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We know she enjoyed herself there and our family is grateful for the friendships she developed and for the dedicated team that made her feel at home.
Bert amazed us all with her talents in the kitchen. Just one example of her cooking and baking skills came when she dreamed up a recipe, and without ever making it, entered and won a national cooking contest in the 1960’s. It was accomplishment she loved reminding us about as she treated us to wonderful meals together as a family. And on so many occasions Bert entertained us with her talent as a pianist. She loved having us together on Christmas and playing the songs of the season for us all to enjoy.
Her family in Parnell always brought her great joy. Recently, she rejoined the parish of her youth, St. Patrick’s of Parnell to again be close to the Heffron family she loved so much.
Bert was preceded in death by her parents Thomas and Cecilia, Brothers Phillip, Clayton and Dr. Edward Heffron, her sister Kathleen Wild and Brother-in-law Edward Wild. Bert is survived by her children Jon Popma, Meg (Brian) Cole, Kim Popma and grandchildren Madison and Anna Cole; Alex and Spencer Popma; Tommy and Loisa Foster; Sisters-in-law Mary Lou (Phil) Heffron, Mary Lou (Clayton) Heffron, Mary Ellen Heffron and many nieces and nephews. Bert was also predeceased by nephew Joseph Heffron.
Visitations will be held on Thursday, 9/2 from 5:00 to 8:00 pm at O’Brien Gerst Funeral Home located at 3980 Cascade Road, SE Grand Rapids, MI 49546 with Rosary at 7:30 pm.
Mass of Christian Burial will occur at 11:00 am on Friday, 9/3 at St. Patrick Parish located at 4351 Parnell Ave. NE Ada, MI 49301. Rev. Tom Cavera presiding. Interment St. Patrick Catholic Cemetery.
Throughout her life Bert loved reading and the knowledge she gained as she devoured books of interest. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a financial donation to St. Patrick School in Bert’s name so she can share her love of reading with students there today and for generations to come.
St. Patrick School
4333 Parnell Ave NE
Ada, MI 49301